Beyond Benign

Lead Teacher

Stephen Costanza

Whitesboro High School
Marcy, NY
Years teaching: 17


Costanza, Stephen

How did you connect with Beyond Benign?
I attended 2 Beyond Benign workshops. The first workshop was in March 2014 at Syracuse University, and I was introduced to biomimicry, green glue, and replacement labs, including using liver for the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. The second workshop was in October 2016 in Binghamton, NY as part of the American Chemical Society’s North East Regional Meeting. At this workshop I learned about several other green chemistry activities, including an updated biomimicry activity, the use of Ecovative mycelium, and Sharklet plastic.

What first drew you into teaching and science education?
In college, I had some experience as a teaching assistant in both science and mathematics and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go to graduate school for science education. As a teacher I find great enjoyment in what I do and love helping my students understand the ways in which the world works.

What excites you most about teaching green chemistry?
Chemistry is an exciting science, and when given a chance to make my experiments and demonstrations safer for not only my students and myself but for the environment, I am especially thrilled. Many of the replacement green chemistry labs that have already been developed are just as interesting as ones involving more harmful chemicals, and I am looking forward to helping with the process of creating greener labs that will continue to inspire students. In addition to teaching my students, I am excited about sharing my knowledge with other teachers from around the country, and hopefully they will teach their own students and colleagues about the importance of green chemistry.

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